We went back to federal court today in New York City in an effort to put a stop to the enforcement of a flawed - and we believe - an unconstitutional law, approved by New York City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg.
As you recall, we filed a federal lawsuit last month on behalf of numerous crisis pregnancy centers in New York City challenging the constitutionality of this new ordinance that targets crisis pregnancy centers.
Today, we filed a motion for preliminary injunction urging the court to block enforcement of this troubling law.
Our lawsuit, filed last month in federal court, contends that the ordinance violates the constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of the press, and due process of law, guaranteed to our clients by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the New York Constitution.
The ordinance requires crisis pregnancy centers to post signs in the lobbies of their counseling centers, add extensive additional written language to their advertising materials, and to provide oral statements during both in person and telephonic conversations regarding the services offered by crisis pregnancy centers.
Our argument is clear: The Supreme Court has said, on numerous occasions, that the right to freedom of speech includes both the right of a speaker to choose his own preferred message, and the right not to speak a message with which the speaker disagrees.
The fact is that New York Citys ordinance strikes at both of these important components of the right to free speech. First, it selects which individuals and groups will be targeted based on their chosen message. Second, it coerces crisis pregnancy centers, on pain of forced closures and fines, to express the Citys messages.
We represent The Evergreen Association (Expectant Mother Care Pregnancy Centers-EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers) and Life Center of New York (AAA Pregnancy Problems Center) which operate a total of 13 crisis pregnancy centers across New York City.
Our attorneys will be back in court June 7th for a hearing on the motion for the preliminary injunction. We will keep you posted.